The European Union (EU) and Fiji held their fourth High Level Political Dialogue under article 8 of the Africa, Caribbean and Pacific Group of States (ACP) – EU Partnership (Cotonou) Agreement in Brussels, Belgium, on yesterday.
The dialogue was under the co-chairmanship of Fiji’s Foreign Minister Inia Seruiratu and EEAS Managing Director for Asia and the Pacific, Gunnar Wiegand.
The EU and Fiji reviewed bilateral relations, including development cooperation, the EU-Pacific Economic Partnership Agreement (EPA), bilateral cooperation on tax good governance, visa issues, fight against climate change, as well as developments in the Pacific region. Developments in Fiji, including efforts underway to consolidate democracy and human rights, as well as in the EU, including Brexit, were also discussed.
Taking good note of Fiji’s call for inclusion in the list of countries with visa-free access to the Schengen area, the EU side confirmed it would give due consideration to Fiji at the next review of the visa list.
The EU and Fiji noted that since the 1st of May, Fiji citizens intending to travel to Germany can submit their applications for Schengen visas in Suva.
Fiji reported on progress made in its discussions with other EU member states on a similar scheme that would allow for the processing of applications for Schengen visas in Suva, providing for visits to these EU member states.
Fiji outlined a number of tax reforms and initiatives for mobilisation of domestic resources for development that it viewed as essential for the country’s consistent economic performance.
Both parties took good note of the inclusion of Fiji in the list of non-cooperative jurisdictions, released by the EU on 12 March this year.
The EU and Fiji agreed to discuss this matter further so as to facilitate Fiji’s efforts to reach compliance with the requirements, as this will make it possible for the country to be removed from this list.